A trade centered around D’Angelo Russell and Andrew Wiggins finally happened, and one player stands at the clear winner for the Golden State Warriors.
Several pieces were on the move in a blockbuster trade centered around D’Angelo Russell and Andrew Wiggins, but one player stands at the true winner after the trade deadline. That player is Wiggins, who has a bright future with the Golden State Warriors once they are at full strength.
When Russell was acquired by the Warriors last offseason, immediate speculation was that he would soon be traded. The guard was not going to be a proper fit alongside Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, and it was only a matter of time before he was on the move.
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The move finally came on the day of the trade deadline, focusing around shipping Russell to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Andrew Wiggins and picks.
With the departure of Kevin Durant in the offseason, the team had a void to fill at the small forward position. Russell was never going to be the player to do this, but the newly acquired Wiggins certainly could be.
The small forward is having a resurgence this season, averaging 22.5 points per game after he had seen drops in scoring the past two years. Although both Curry and Thompson have missed nearly the entirety of this season, Wiggins is already a better fit alongside the two on paper.
Soon to be filling the vacant small forward position alongside one of the most lethal backcourts ever assembled, this trio has unlimited potential.
Relied upon as a first or second option scorer during his tenure in Minnesota, Wiggins now slides into the third-option role and has a Hall of Fame duo playing beside him.
Although the Warriors are a vile 12-40 this season, the vast amount of injuries and roster reconstruction have played a massive factor in that. Once healthy, this team is automatically a championship contender, a situation Wiggins has never been in before.
Curry and Thompson will help alleviate some of the pressure off of Wiggins once they return, and he could thrive in this role. The 24-year-old has only made the postseason once, and it took a hard-fought victory on the last night of the regular season to do so.
Now Wiggins finds himself a member of the Warriors who will be missing the NBA Finals for the first time in five years.
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A change of scenery is often the best thing for a player who has been struggling, and there are not too many better situations Wiggins could have been dropped into than this one.
The forward has already made his impact felt with an impressive debut against the Los Angeles Lakers. Although the Warriors lost, Wiggins scored 24 points on 66.7 percent shooting from the field and an impressive 75 percent from three-point range.
Wiggins is now a part of a winning culture that has won three championships in a dominant five-year run.
The rest of this season will be a challenge to get through, but thinking about the type of skillset Andrew Wiggins brings to the table alongside Curry and Thompson should have Warriors fans excited for what is to come.